DNA pioneer stripped of titles for claiming black people are less intelligent

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The laboratory, calling the latest remarks "reprehensible" and "unsupported by science", said they effectively reversed Watson's 2007 written apology and retraction. After "unequivocally" rejecting Watson's "unsubstantiated and reckless" opinions, the Laboratory stripped the 90-year-old scientist of all of his titles, noting that the institution "condemns the misuse of science to justify prejudice". And there's a difference on the average between blacks and whites on IQ tests.

In 2007, Watson was suspended from all of his positions held at the NY lab following a scandal centering around his claim about the "inherently gloomy" future of the African continent.

This time the laboratory is stripping him of his remaining honorary titles, including honorary trustee and chancellor emeritus.

The remarks are the latest in a series of racist and homophobic statements that have tainted Watson's career, CNN reported.

While the DNA pioneer also expressed his hope for everyone to be equal, he added: "People who have to deal with black employees found this is not true".

Watson apologised, though the incident ended in his semi-forced retirement as chancellor of the laboratory and later, his decision to sell his Nobel Prize.

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"Not at all. I would like for them to have changed, that there be new knowledge that says that your nurture is much more important than nature", the scientist was quoted as saying in a recently previewed PBS documentary, titled American Masters: Decoding Watson.

Michael Wigler, a veteran molecular biologist at the laboratory, said that Watson's views on race were not newsworthy in the first place.

Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory acknowledges and appreciates Dr. Watson's substantial scientific legacy, including his role as founding director of the Human Genome Project and his critical leadership in the development of research and education at the Laboratory during his prior tenure as Director and President.

James Watson the Nobel Prize for the 1953 discovery of the DNA's double helix structure. The scientist said at the time that he made a decision to sell the award in an attempt to redeem his reputation after his comments in 2007, The New York Times reported.

As British geneticist Adam Rutherford argued in 2014, when Watson complained in an interview that the scientific community had shunned him, it revealed a "pernicious character entirely unrelated to his scientific greatness, but that is longstanding and not new".

But leading geneticists say that even modern DNA studies are now unable to validate such hypotheses about differences between human populations.

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